Boy, I haven’t read a tear jerker in a long time, but Stay With Me by Paul Griffin brought tears to my eyes. Mr. Griffin was nice enough to come to our library and give a writing workshop and now I’m sad that I missed the opportunity to see/hear him.
Cece and Mack are made for each other and they know it. They are truly in love, even if they’re only fifteen. Cece doesn’t care about Mack’s prison record. If her brother Tony says Mack’s OK, then he’s OK, because Tony is never wrong. He knows people. But sometimes being in love requires the utmost sacrifice.
Griffin has created a cast of characters that you love, warts and all. Vic ‘knows what he knows’ and is willing to give people chances, including Mack. Cece’s mother, Carmella, might drink a bit much, but she loves her kids ‘like a crazy person’. Cece’s brother Tony has a heart of gold. And Mack. Despite a hard life, he’s a good person and has a special way with dogs. He can train any dog, but has a soft spot for pit bulls (as does Griffin). This may be his undoing and his salvation.
I need to give you the first paragraph: “A Hundred and Two Days: That’s probably about average, but it didn’t seem close to that long, especially in the beginning, that first month or so. It was just getting to that sweet spot, where everything is perfect for a while. A short while. Before it starts to fade-little by little, usually. Not for them, though. For them, it was ripped away in the middle of an ordinary summer afternoon, in a little less than a minute and a half.”
Very powerful. Stay With Me is told by both Cece and Mack. They are strong characters. This is a strong story. Stay With Me is definitely one of my 10 best books of 2012. I’ll be reading more of Paul Griffin.